The Difference Between Regeneration & Conversion from 5 Point Salt

Posted: March 6, 2010 in Calvinism, God's grace, salvation
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Faith and repentance are both necessary to and the efficient cause of true spiritual conversion. Some have confused conversion with regeneration. Therefore it is necessary to distinguish clearly between these two different operations of the Spirit. The following diagram may help to distinguish conversion from regeneration.

Regeneration Conversion
1. God is active while man is passive. 1. Both God and man are active.
2. God regenerates man in his inner being on his unconscious level. 2. Conversion takes place on man’s conscious level.
3. Regeneration is hidden and private, taking place unseen within man. 3. Conversion is open and public as well as inward.
4. No response from man included in regeneration. 4. The response of faith and repentance included in conversion.
5. No man is ever said to regenerate a sinner. Only God can “recreate,” “give birth to,” or “raise from spiritual death” sinners. 5. A believer can be said to “convert” sinners in the limited sense of the validity of the secondary cause or agent (Psa. 51:13; James 5:19-20).

Because it is true that God works in us the desire and the accomplishing of His sovereign will (Phil. 2:13), in conversion we consciously turn to God by the gifts of faith and repentance. Taking this view of conversion, we strengthen the necessity of God’s sovereign grace in the securing of salvation.

The Holy Spirit was sent to convince sinners of their sin and need of salvation and to convict sinners of their guilt before the Law of God and to convert sinners to Christ (John 16:7-14).

The importance of the Spirit’s work in conversion means that conversion should never be viewed merely as an automatic effect of regeneration. Conversion is organically connected to regeneration, not by any inherent power in regeneration but by the direct operation of the Spirit. Conversion always follows regeneration simply because this is the way the Spirit works.

R.A. Morey, Studies in the Atonement

*Blog copied from 5 Point Salt

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